Don’t let energy giants stash your cash in bank

For Christmas, several years ago, I received a rather ugly present. It was a big, brown, fleecy electric throw, lacking even a hint of Christmas sparkle or elegance. But it’s one of the best gifts I have ever received as it has saved me hundreds of pounds – this year more than ever. 

The cost of heating our homes is surging – and millions of households face a difficult winter. But at a time when every kilowatt-hour of energy saved helps, I thought it worth mentioning my throw. It helps to keep my bills down because when I start to feel the chill, I often resist the temptation to put the central heating on. Instead, I wrap myself up in my electric throw.   

Having the central heating on for a few hours every day can easily cost more than £3. By comparison, the throw costs about a penny to run. There is an upfront cost of around £50, but over the course of a winter, it still adds up to a significant saving. That’s not to say we never have the heating on at home. 

Since it needs to be plugged into the mains, the throw only really does the trick when I’m sedentary. Ashamedly, when I’m at home I normally am exactly that – sitting and reading, watching TV or working. It is also only a good central heating substitute when I’m home alone. 

I’m also a fan of an electric blanket, although I don’t think they’re a patch on an electric throw because they only keep you warm when you’re tucked up in bed. While on holiday earlier this month on the beautiful Isle of Arran, I also bought a sheepskin rug – let’s just say I feel the cold easily. 

So with my throw, rug and the occasional hot water bottle, I’m ready for a low-cost, toasty – and sedentary – winter. 

                                                                                                                Rachel Rickard Straus